Balak 5779 – The power of Tefila

The Posuk says “AND BOLOK SAW ALL THAT ISRAEL HAD DONE TO THE AMORITES”, it’s an interesting language the Posuk uses, as if the others had not seen that Am Yisroel has destroyed Sichon and Og, the 2 giants and their entire kingdom.

Rashi explains that Bolok told his people:  Those two kings (Sichon and Og) on whom we relied could not resist them; how much less can we do so; on this account they grew all very fearful of the Bnei Yisroel.

The Gemara Sanhedrin 105a gives us a hint of the level of their fear: as Moav and Midian always hated one another so what induced Moav to take counsel of Midian? When Bolok explained to his people that Bnei Yisroel were victorious in a supernatural manner they said: the leader of these people grew up in Midian; let us ask them what is his chief characteristic. They replied to them; “His power lies only in his mouth (in prayer)”. Whereupon they said: “Then we must come against them with a man whose power lies in his mouth”.

The Zohar teaches us that Bolok was an even greater sorcerer than Bilam, though Bolok needed a media to perform his sorcellery while Bilam was an expert in spells and needed no media. Therefore, since Am Yisroel’s power was exclusively with their mouth, they needed someone with a similar power, namely Bilam.

The Zohar tells us further: that Hashem is omnipresent and listens to every prayer from every person! Though all Hashem requires is some heart, do we really mean the words of our prayers? Are we really seeking his help? He is awaiting our demands to fulfill them, though we should mean them, otherwise it’s the utmost disrespect to mention the name of Hashem and not have a basic level of honesty to mean what we say.

In order to understand the power of Tefila, prayer, let’s introduce the holy teaching of  The ARIZAL’ that just as the Tetagram, the name of Hashem is composed of 4 letters, so everything surrounding us [4 Yom Tov, 4 cups of wine on the Seder, 4 type of boys etc]. The human body is composed of 4 elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. The real prayer is the one performed with these 4 characteristics, Fire = with a wholesome heart and the conviction Hashem is listening to our prayers. Water = Sincerity, with the clear knowledge that nothing happens unless Hashem decided it. Earth = Humility, as we’re sinners and don’t deserve to mention the name of Hashem. Air = Happiness, as how fortunate we’re to be allowed to serve the King of kings, and even more so as He is our Father.  

The Ohr Hachaim explains that just as in Egypt at the time of the darkness Yisroel had full light, so too everyone who’s in a tough spot, he should know that within his pain and his problem is the light, the solution. Though to access it you need a special key, the Tefila.

By Rabbi Shimon Fridmann – Din Torah Of North Miami Beach

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